thepittsburghhistoryjournal:

Rick Santorum “Danced Around The Issue” Of Abortion Until 1990 Campaign
In 1990, Rick Santorum won a seat in Congress against seven-term incumbent Doug Walgren. He was touted as a young ally to the religious right and in the years to come, Santorum emerged as one of the most vocal opponents to abortion in Congress. But in this archived story in The Pittsburgh Press, Santorum states that he only came to terms with his views on abortion during the campaign. 

Santorum is relying on the ranks of religious conservatives opposed to legal abortion. 
This marks a definitive philosophical arrival for Santorum, who describes himself as a “progressive conservative,” and who did not have a firm position on abortion — a flashpoint issue with the religious right — until after he began his campaign. 
Santorum said he had always opposed government funding of abortions, but “beyond that I tried as much as I could to dance around the issue, not really take a position on it.” 

In fact, in a position paper that he later withdrew, Santorum “limited his opposition to abortion to cover only the time in which a fetus is considered viable — usually taken to mean the final three months of pregnancy — and to public funding of abortions.”
This is not a political blog, but I found this article in Google Archives and was blown away to learn that this conviction, one Santorum defends with such vitriol, was one that he struggled with well into his 30s. 
“For me it was just a lot of education, a lot of soul-searching.” 
That same year, Santorum married Karen Garver, whom he met when she interned at his law firm. Prior to their meeting, Garver was in a six-year relationship with a Pittsburgh obstetrician and abortion provider, Tom Allen. Allen was 40 years older than Garver — astonishingly, he had delivered her in 1960. The Daily Beast revealed this in January, but apparently it has been an open secret in Pittsburgh political circles since the beginning. 


“Karen had no problems with what I did for a living,” says Allen, who helped start one of the first hospital-sanctioned abortion clinics in Pennsylvania. “We never really discussed it.” (The Santorum campaign did not return repeated requests for comment on the relationship.)



The six-year-long May-December affair, which was always out in the open, began in 1982, when Garver was a 22-year-old nursing student at Duquesne University. Allen was then 63. He was well known for delivering babies and helping to start a “therapeutic abortion” clinic at Magee-Womens Hospital in Pittsburgh years before Roe v. Wade. As at most such clinics, sympathetic psychiatrists of the era attested to women’s fragile mental health as a way to skirt restrictions on the procedure. Rick Santorum has lampooned the notion that abortion statutes should contain exceptions in cases where women’s health is at risk. 


Karen Santorum, shame on you. You undoubtedly used contraception during your 20s and want to deny your daughters the right to it. Before you met your husband, you had a six-year relationship with a man who provided abortions to women at a time when the right to have one was under attack, as it is now. You had a pregnancy that put you in danger and made the decision to end it — you should understand that it is not a choice that any woman wants to make, but thank heavens we have the right to make it. 
As for Rick, you would like for the country to believe that you have felt this way all your life. I would have believed that easily if not for today, reading this paragraph buried on page 8 of a defunct Pittsburgh newspaper. If there is anything that could make your views more grotesque, it’s knowing that it’s all a dog and pony show to pander to the people on the wrong side of history. 

thepittsburghhistoryjournal:

Rick Santorum “Danced Around The Issue” Of Abortion Until 1990 Campaign

In 1990, Rick Santorum won a seat in Congress against seven-term incumbent Doug Walgren. He was touted as a young ally to the religious right and in the years to come, Santorum emerged as one of the most vocal opponents to abortion in Congress. But in this archived story in The Pittsburgh Press, Santorum states that he only came to terms with his views on abortion during the campaign. 

Santorum is relying on the ranks of religious conservatives opposed to legal abortion. 

This marks a definitive philosophical arrival for Santorum, who describes himself as a “progressive conservative,” and who did not have a firm position on abortion — a flashpoint issue with the religious right — until after he began his campaign. 

Santorum said he had always opposed government funding of abortions, but “beyond that I tried as much as I could to dance around the issue, not really take a position on it.” 

In fact, in a position paper that he later withdrew, Santorum “limited his opposition to abortion to cover only the time in which a fetus is considered viable — usually taken to mean the final three months of pregnancy — and to public funding of abortions.”

This is not a political blog, but I found this article in Google Archives and was blown away to learn that this conviction, one Santorum defends with such vitriol, was one that he struggled with well into his 30s. 

“For me it was just a lot of education, a lot of soul-searching.” 

That same year, Santorum married Karen Garver, whom he met when she interned at his law firm. Prior to their meeting, Garver was in a six-year relationship with a Pittsburgh obstetrician and abortion provider, Tom Allen. Allen was 40 years older than Garver — astonishingly, he had delivered her in 1960. The Daily Beast revealed this in January, but apparently it has been an open secret in Pittsburgh political circles since the beginning. 

“Karen had no problems with what I did for a living,” says Allen, who helped start one of the first hospital-sanctioned abortion clinics in Pennsylvania. “We never really discussed it.” (The Santorum campaign did not return repeated requests for comment on the relationship.)

The six-year-long May-December affair, which was always out in the open, began in 1982, when Garver was a 22-year-old nursing student at Duquesne University. Allen was then 63. He was well known for delivering babies and helping to start a “therapeutic abortion” clinic at Magee-Womens Hospital in Pittsburgh years before Roe v. Wade. As at most such clinics, sympathetic psychiatrists of the era attested to women’s fragile mental health as a way to skirt restrictions on the procedure. Rick Santorum has lampooned the notion that abortion statutes should contain exceptions in cases where women’s health is at risk. 

Karen Santorum, shame on you. You undoubtedly used contraception during your 20s and want to deny your daughters the right to it. Before you met your husband, you had a six-year relationship with a man who provided abortions to women at a time when the right to have one was under attack, as it is now. You had a pregnancy that put you in danger and made the decision to end it — you should understand that it is not a choice that any woman wants to make, but thank heavens we have the right to make it. 

As for Rick, you would like for the country to believe that you have felt this way all your life. I would have believed that easily if not for today, reading this paragraph buried on page 8 of a defunct Pittsburgh newspaper. If there is anything that could make your views more grotesque, it’s knowing that it’s all a dog and pony show to pander to the people on the wrong side of history. 

  1. team-twerk6969 reblogged this from thepittsburghhistoryjournal
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  3. josipbeantito reblogged this from thepittsburghhistoryjournal and added:
    What the hell? Who has a relationship with the doctor that DELIVERED THEM? NASTY. Why, exactly, is it that all of the...
  4. fallthroughthemirror reblogged this from winterofcontent
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  6. estherjoyb reblogged this from thepittsburghhistoryjournal and added:
    Steel City doesn’t forget Santorum and abortion: the beginnings
  7. rihronna reblogged this from cecinestpasungeek
  8. kelseynje reblogged this from thepittsburghhistoryjournal and added:
    I have my own stance on abortion, but this is interesting given Santorum’s highly religious campaign. No way would a guy...
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  11. matthewgallaway said: Ugh, I grew up in Doug Walgren’s district. Hate feeling connected to RS.
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    Well well…
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